Additional Information

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FAQs & Laws
WYSIWYG

Pedestrians

What’s the best way to use a pedestrian traffic signal?

A pedestrian has the right of way when the pedestrian signal shows a steady “Walk” sign or person symbol.

A pedestrian should not cross the road if a “Don’t Walk” sign or upraised hand symbol is steady.

When a “Don’t Walk” sign or upraised hand symbol is flashing, pedestrians who have already begun crossing the street should continue to the other side. Pedestrians who have not yet begun to cross the street should wait until the next “Walk” cycle.

 

What is considered a crosswalk?

A crosswalk is any area distinctly indicated for pedestrian crossing by lines or other pavement markings.

A crosswalk also is any part of the road at an intersection between the curbs on opposite sides of the roadway or, if there are no curbs, between the edges of the road. This area is considered a crosswalk, whether or not it is marked as one.

 

How should a crosswalk be used?

When there are no pedestrian signals at an intersection, wait until vehicle traffic gets a green light in the same direction you are traveling and cross in front of the stopped traffic. Do not cross in front of traffic that has a green light.

If there is a crosswalk at a location where there are no traffic control signals for drivers or pedestrians, drivers must yield the right of way to pedestrians.

 

What if there isn’t a marked crosswalk?

If there are no crosswalks, the safest place for pedestrians to cross the road is at an intersection. Motorists have the right of way at all locations other than intersections and marked crosswalks.

Are pedestrians required to use a sidewalk if one is provided?

Yes. Where sidewalks are provided and they can be used safely, pedestrians must use the sidewalk instead of walking in the road.

 

Who has the right of way when a car is pulling into or out of traffic across a sidewalk?

Pedestrians do. The driver of a vehicle emerging from or entering an alleyway, building, private road or driveway must yield the right of way to any pedestrian approaching on any sidewalk or road shoulder.

 

If no sidewalk is provided, should a pedestrian walk on a road shoulder facing oncoming traffic or with their back to oncoming traffic?

Pedestrians should walk on the shoulder facing oncoming traffic because it makes them more visible to motorists and helps them stay aware of traffic. Stay as far to the left as possible.

 

Are pedestrians allowed on state expressway highways or state interstate route highways including entrance ramps and exit ramps?

No. Pedestrians are not allowed on limited-access roads, such as expressways and interstates, nor are they allowed on entrance or exit ramps for those roads.

 

How should pedestrians cross the road at roundabouts?

Pedestrians should cross roundabouts from one “splitter island” to the next. The splitter islands offer a safe refuge between the two different directions of traffic, allowing a pedestrian to concentrate on traffic coming from only one direction at a time. Never cross to the center island of a roundabout.

 

 

Drivers

When do pedestrians have the right of way?

Pedestrians have the right of way in all crosswalks and at intersections with marked or unmarked crosswalks.

 

If an intersection is equipped with a pedestrian traffic signal, they should cross during the “Walk” phase of the signal.

 

*Note: a pedestrian will get a “Walk” signal to go the same direction motorists are heading when they get a green signal. Motorists turning right or left at an intersection should always look for pedestrians and yield the right of way to them. Pedestrians have the right of way at intersections, even if drivers have a green light.

 

Who has the right of way when I’m entering or exiting the road?

Pedestrians do. The driver of a vehicle emerging from or entering an alleyway, building, private road or driveway shall yield the right of way to any pedestrian approaching on any sidewalk or road shoulder.

 

What is considered a crosswalk?

A crosswalk is any area distinctly indicated for pedestrian crossing by lines or other pavement markings.

 

A crosswalk also is any part of the road at an intersection between the curbs on opposite sides of the roadway or, if there are no curbs, between the edges of the road. This area is considered a crosswalk whether or not it is marked.

 

 

SECTIONS OF THE VEHICLE & TRAFFIC LAW PERTAINING TO PEDESTRIANS

 

DEFINITIONS:

  • Section 110. Crosswalk.

(a)   That part of a roadway at an intersection included within the connections of the lateral lines of the sidewalks on opposite sides of the highway between the curbs or, in the absence of curbs, between the edges of the traversable roadway.

(b)   Any portion of a roadway at an intersection or elsewhere distinctly indicated for pedestrian crossing by lines or other markings on the surface.

  • Section 130. Pedestrian. Any person afoot or in a wheelchair.
  • Section 1112. Pedestrian-control signal indications. Whenever pedestrians are controlled by pedestrian-control signals exhibiting the words “WALK” or “DON’T WALK”, or exhibiting symbols of a walking person or upraised hand, such signals shall indicate and apply to pedestrians as follows:

(a)   Steady WALK or walking person. Pedestrians facing such signal may proceed across the roadway in the direction of the signal and shall be given the right of way by other traffic.

(b)   Flashing DON’T WALK or upraised hand. No pedestrian shall start to cross the roadway in the direction of such signal, but any pedestrians who have partially completed their crossing on the WALK or walking person signal shall proceed to a sidewalk or safety island while the flashing DON’T WALK or upraised hand signal is showing.

(c)    Steady DON’T WALK or upraised hand. No pedestrians shall start to cross the roadway in the direction of such signal, but any pedestrians who have partially completed their crossing on the WALK or flashing DON’T WALK signal shall proceed to a sidewalk or safety island while the steady DON’T WALK signal is showing.

 

INTERSECTIONS

  • Section 1142. Vehicle entering stop or yield intersection.

(b) The driver of a vehicle approaching a yield sign shall in obedience to such sign slow down to a speed reasonable for existing conditions, or shall stop if necessary as provided in section eleven hundred seventy-two, and shall yield the right of way to any pedestrian legally crossing the roadway on which he is driving, and to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another highway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time such driver is moving across or within the intersection. Provided, however, that if such driver is involved in a collision with a pedestrian in a crosswalk or a vehicle in the intersection after driving past a yield sign without stopping, such collision shall be deemed prima facie evidence of his failure to yield the right of way.

 

DUE CARE

  • Section 1146. Drivers to exercise due care. Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law to the contrary, every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any bicyclist, pedestrian or domestic animal upon any roadway and shall give warning by sounding the horn when necessary.

 

PEDESTRIANS' RIGHTS AND DUTIES ARTICLE 27

  • Section 1150. Pedestrians subject to traffic regulations. Pedestrians shall be subject to traffic-control signals as provided in section eleven hundred eleven of this title, but at all other places pedestrians shall be accorded the privileges and shall be subject to the restrictions stated in this article.
  • Section 1151. Pedestrians' right of way in crosswalks.
    • (a) When traffic-control signals are not in place or not in operation the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right of way, slowing down or stopping if need be to so yield, to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk on the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling, except that any pedestrian crossing a roadway at a point where a pedestrian tunnel or overpass has been provided shall yield the right of way to all vehicles.
    • (b) No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impractical for the driver to yield.
    • (c) Whenever any vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or at any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass such stopped vehicle.
  • Section 1151-a. Pedestrians' right of way on sidewalks. The driver of a vehicle emerging from or entering an alleyway, building, private road or driveway shall yield the right of way to any pedestrian approaching on any sidewalk extending across such alleyway, building entrance, road or driveway.
  • Section 1152. Crossing at other than crosswalks.
    • (a) Every pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right of way to all vehicles upon the roadway.
    • (b) Any pedestrian crossing a roadway at a point where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing has been provided shall yield the right of way to all vehicles upon the roadway.
    • (c) No pedestrian shall cross a roadway intersection diagonally unless authorized by official traffic-control devices; and, when authorized to cross diagonally, pedestrians shall cross only in accordance with the official traffic-control devices pertaining to such crossing movements.
  •  Section 1153. Provisions relating to blind or visually impaired persons.
    • (a) Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this article, every driver of a vehicle approaching an intersection or crosswalk shall yield the right of way to a pedestrian crossing or attempting to cross the roadway when such pedestrian is accompanied by a guide dog or using a cane which is metallic or white in color or white with a red tip.
    • (b) No person, unless blind or visually impaired, shall use on any street or highway a cane which is metallic or white in color or white with a red tip.
    • (c) This section shall not be construed as making obligatory the employment of the use of a guide dog or of a cane or walking stick of any kind by a person blind or visually impaired.
  • Section 1155. Pedestrians to use right half of crosswalks. Pedestrians shall move, whenever practicable, upon the right half of crosswalks.
  • Section 1156. Pedestrians on roadways.
    • (a) Where sidewalks are provided and they may be used with safety it shall be unlawful for any pedestrian to walk along and upon an adjacent roadway.
    • (b) Where sidewalks are not provided any pedestrian walking along and upon a highway shall when practicable walk only on the left side of the roadway or its shoulder facing traffic which may approach from the opposite direction. Upon the approach of any vehicle from the opposite direction, such pedestrian shall move as far to the left as is practicable.
  • Section 1157. Pedestrians soliciting rides, or business.
    • (a) No person shall stand in a roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride, or to solicit from or sell to an occupant of any vehicle.
    • (b) No person shall stand on or in proximity to a street or highway for the purpose of soliciting the watching or guarding of any vehicle while parked or about to be parked on a street or highway.
    • (c) No person shall occupy any part of a state highway, except in a city or village, in any manner for the purpose of selling or soliciting.
Resources
Resources
WYSIWYG

Need more information about pedestrian safety?

 

Join us at the Walk-Bike New York “A Livable Communities Symposium” in September 2016. The conference is sponsored by the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research and will be held in Syracuse. 

 

Learn about our Complete Streets Program to consider all users – including bicyclists, pedestrians and people with disabilities – when designing transportation projects. Or, find out about our Transportation Alternatives Program that provides federal funds for bicycle, pedestrian and multi-use path transportation projects across New York State through a competitive grant program.

 

Check out our tips for how to cross the street at roundabouts or, if bicycling is more your speed, use our interactive statewide bike route map.

 

Kids will enjoy our printable games, word scramble, word search, coloring page and more on our Safety First Kids site. 

 

At some point in our day, every person is a pedestrian. It may mean using sidewalks to get where you need to go. Most transit users – whether riding the bus, subway or train – access transit stops by walking or bicycling. Even drivers walk through parking lots to their vehicles. For more information about pedestrian safety in New York State and across the country, visit these sites:

Contact
Contact
WYSIWYG

NYSDOT Main Office Contacts

Contact the main office for statewide issues.

Name/Title/Address

Phone

E-mail Address

Robert Limoges
Acting Director
Office of Traffic
Safety and Mobility

(518) 457-2452

[email protected]

Robert Limoges
Director
Safety Program Management
and Coordination Bureau

(518) 457-2452

[email protected]

Thomas Benware
Statewide Pedestrian/Bicycle Coordinator
Pedestrian & Bicycle Section Director

(518) 485-0976

[email protected]

James Ercolano
Pedestrian Specialist
Pedestrian Safety and Mobility

(518) 457-4087

[email protected]

 

NYSDOT Regional Bicycle & Pedestrian Coordinators

Contact the regional offices for information on local projects; regional, county and local issues; local maps; and bicycling/hiking tourism.

Coordinator

Contact

DOT Region

County

John Franchini

50 Wolf Road
Albany, NY 12232

[email protected]

 

518-457-9983

1

Albany, Essex, Greene, Saratoga, Schenectady, Rensselaer, Warren, Washington

Valerie Deane

50 Wolf Road
Albany, NY 12232

[email protected]

 

518-417-6589

1

Albany, Essex, Greene, Saratoga, Schenectady, Rensselaer, Warren, Washington

Joseph Kaczor

Utica State Office Building
Genesee Street
Utica NY, 13501

[email protected]

 

315-793-2690

2

Fulton, Hamilton, Herkimer, Madison, Montgomery, Oneida

Jeff Sterly

State Office Building

333 E. Washington Street

Syracuse NY, 13202

[email protected]

 

315-254-2065

3

Cayuga, Cortland, Onondaga, Oswego, Seneca, Tompkins

Jon Harman
(Pedestrian Issues)

1530 Jefferson Road
Rochester NY, 14623

[email protected]

 

585-272-3358

4

Monroe, Wayne, Ontario, Livingston, Orleans, Genesee, Wyoming

Bruce Cunningham
(Bicycle Issues)

1530 Jefferson Road
Rochester NY, 14623

[email protected]

 

585-272-4831

4

Monroe, Wayne, Ontario, Livingston, Orleans, Genesee, Wyoming

Chris Church

100 Seneca Street
Buffalo NY, 14203

[email protected]

 

716-847-3246

5

Erie, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Niagara

Pauline Burnes

107 Broadway
Hornell NY, 14843

[email protected]

 

607-324-8441

6

Steuben, Allegany, Yates, Schuyler, Chemung, Tioga

Jeffrey Spencer

107 Broadway
Hornell NY, 14843

[email protected]

 

607-324-8444

6

Steuben, Allegany, Yates, Schuyler, Chemung, Tioga

Lynn Godek

Dulles State Office Building
317 Washington Street
Watertown NY, 13601

[email protected]

 

315-785-2547

7

Clinton, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis, St. Lawrence

Lisa Mondello

Eleanor Roosevelt State Office Building
4 Burnett Boulevard
Poughkeepsie NY, 12603

[email protected]

 

845-431-5783

8

Dutchess, Columbia, Orange, Putnum, Rockland, Ulster, Westchester

James Rapoli

Eleanor Roosevelt State Office Building
4 Burnett Boulevard
Poughkeepsie NY, 12603

[email protected]

 

845-431-5723

8

Dutchess, Columbia, Orange, Putnum, Rockland, Ulster, Westchester

Kathryn Mangan

Binghamton State Office Building
44 Hawley Street
Binghamton NY, 13901

[email protected]

 

607-721-8254

9

Broome, Chenango, Delaware, Otsego, Schoharie, Sullivan

Lanny Wexler

NYS Office Building
250 Veterans Memorial Highway
Hauppauge NY, 11788

[email protected]

 

631-952-6079

10

Nassau, Suffolk

Mark Maglienti 

Hunters Point Plaza
47-40 21st Street
Long Island City NY, 11101

[email protected]

 

718-482-4016

11

Bronx, Kings (Brooklyn), New York (Manhattan), Queens, Richmond (Staten Island)